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Numerical Investigation of Emulsification of Viscoelastic Fluids through Porous Membranes

Wednesday (07.10.2020)
16:40 - 17:00 Room 3
Part of:

The role of emulsions is of increasing importance in the food and pharmaceuticals industries. Customer demand for higher product quality together with adherence to increasingly strict government regulation has made studying the emulsification process and its influencing parameters of utmost significance. Parameters such as the porosity and pore size distribution, along with the membrane’s surface wettability or charge, directly affect the stresses arising within the emulsification process and thus the resulting emulsions. Additionally, the physical properties of the dispersed fluid itself when under such conditions have an influence on the resulting emulsion and droplet size distribution. The main parameter studied is the fluid viscosity, namely its Newtonian or non-Newtonian behaviour. Furthermore viscoelasticity, the adapting of a fluid’s viscosity based on the exerted on it stress, has a direct effect on the liquid-liquid as well as the liquid-solid interactions of a droplet inside a porous membrane.

In the past six years of MIMENIMA several numerical studies for the understanding of the emulsification process were undertaken. This primarily involved quantifying the shear stress exerted inside the membrane and determining the stability of w/o/w emulsions under such high shear conditions. The numerical results were corroborated with experimental observations and various surfactants and concentrations thereof were investigated.

In continuation single- and multi-droplet simulations in idealised pores and in complex membrane structures are being carried out. Simultaneously a new experimental set-up aiming to corroborate these simulations is being developed. The overall aim is to study different fluids and process parameters for their influence on droplet formation, break-up, and transport in a porous membrane.

The project is carried out in collaboration within the research training group (RTG) MIMENIMA at the University of Bremen, on topics such as porous membrane formation and characterisation, CT-Scanning of porous membranes and conversion to surface (.stl) files, and MRI flow measurements.

Apostolos Kyrloglou
University of Bremen
Additional Authors:
  • Alexander Schulz
    University of Bremen
  • Laura Luhede
    University of Bremen
  • Prof. Dr. Udo Fritsching
    University of Bremen